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RPM Automotive News - November 2014

What's Happening In The Automotive Industry

That’s Interesting

Wondering about the origins of crude oil imports? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in April 2014, the top five sources of U.S. crude oil imports were Canada, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Kuwait.

Most patriotic brands according to Brand Keys included Jeep as No. 1 again. Ford went from 11th position in 2013 to 5th in 2014.

On the topic of Jeep, you can now get a custom hood decal for your Jeep from the Mopar offshoot Jeep Performance Parts. You can buy preconfigured maps of trails or make your own online with a custom tool. The decals will fit 2007-current Wranglers, 2014-present Cherokees, and 2011-present Grands. Go to mopar.com/jeephoods.

The Dodge brand is 100 years old in 2014. It first made commercial trucks -- military and commercial -- on a passenger car chassis in 1917. The deal to build trucks with Graham Brothers happened in 1921. The brand-new Dodge Truck Plant opened in Michigan in 1938. You’re wiser, 2014.

Chevy made it on Interbrand’s 2014 Best Global Green Brands list for the first time ever. The Bow-Tie came in at No. 32.

Nissan has opened its second plant in Thailand, which will make the NP300 Navara pickup.

Did you know the Ford Mustang features an updated version of 911 Assist, which calls for help if you’re in an accident and also relays the vehicle location? It will do this if the airbags deploy or the fuel supply shuts off. The new version will give dispatchers a crash description and if seatbelts were on. Crash type, such as rollover, is among the info.

Get a F-150 for $350: Ford and Fisher-Price have created the Power Wheels F-150, which screams 2015 F-150. Watch for it in September.

On the topic of Ford, Polk registrations showed that it’s the top-selling brand among military families. The F-150 heads the list.

“This substitution from steel is being driven mainly by strict emissions regulations, especially in North America, and is a game changer for the aluminum rolling sector. In Asia, the emissions regulations are less stringent and vehicles tend to be much smaller. The relative cost of aluminum sheet is seen as a prohibitive factor, so it’s in regions with the most stringent legislation ...that this material will be most widely adopted.”

-- Charlie Durant, senior consultant at CRU, a metals consultancy, to Reuters. It’s expected that the trend toward aluminum in autos in North America will far outpace that of Asia’s industry

Is It True?

GM almost bought Pixar a few decades ago?

Cuba sold 50 cars and 4 motorcycles in the first six months of 2014?

BP says there’s 53.3 years of oil remaining?

A stop-start system will be standard on the 2015 Jeep Cherokee?

The new Bentley SUV will be $220,000?

Four Wheeler App

Four Wheeler tech. Four Wheeler feature trucks. Four Wheeler four-wheeling events. Four Wheeler news. Four Wheeler products. Four Wheeler everything. Four Wheeler, all the time. Go to the iTunes app store and download the Four Wheeler app for all that Four Wheeler stuff and more Four Wheeler.

Your Government At Work

NHTSA doesn’t care about aging tires. OK, it does, but it isn’t going add tire-aging tests to its repertoire. Instead, it’s going to help educate you on the topic.

Delaware is exempting reconstructed vehicles more than 25 years old from emissions testing.

Seems a bill has been introduced that would expand NHTSA’s ability to recall unsafe vehicles, plus there’d be more funding for auto safety.

New Hampshire wanted to prohibit the sale of gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol. No such luck; it stopped in the Senate.

Other people’s government at work: Nova Scotia made July 2014 Automotive Heritage Month.

What’s Happening In The Industry
Goodyear has a new towing service called TOW365. No sign up or membership fees. It will take you to the nearest Goodyear Tire & Service Network spot.

Toyo’s Open Country AT II -- aka OPAT II -- is now the OE tire for the Ford F-250 and F-350. It’s a first for Toyo to have one of its North America-produced tires picked by an American automaker for OE use.

KYB has redone its website at kyb.com. You can learn about shocks, struts, and all sorts of ride control things.

Kumho is back to constructing a plant in Georgia, which got put on hold from the recession.

Most American Vehicles
Cars.com’s American-Made Index ranks vehicles built and bought in the U.S. and focuses on the percentage of parts that the government would consider “domestic.” The Ford F-150 ranked No. 1 two years running for its American-ness. The Toyota Tundra came in fifth; it was seventh last round.

Random Photo We Dug
It’s 1946. Veterans. St. Louis metro area. Fords.

Worst Traffic Anywhere
TomTom’s Traffic Index ranks traffic congestion and compares travel times during no congestion to travel times in peak hours. Turns out you’re spending about eight days per year in traffic. So congrats on wasting your life.

Here are the top 10 rankings based on overall traffic levels for 2013, the fourth annual ranking of its kind:

1. Los Angeles
2. San Francisco
3. Honolulu
4. Seattle
5. San Jose
6. New York
7. Miami
8. Washington
9. Portland
10. New Orleans

Something Cool From Peugeot
Don’t let the name fool you -- the 2008 DKR is not from 2008. It’s destined for the 2015 Dakar Rally and features two-wheel drive and a diesel engine, specifically a 340hp twin-turbo V-6. Loads of suspension travel is the solution to the two-by option over having a 4x4, since the goal was to the keep the vehicle lightweight.

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